What makes
a safe harbor
for your
next office space?

Access to talent, a resilient economy, and affordability put Pittsburgh on the map for an optimal business location

November 24, 2020

You hear it about real estate all the time and it’s just as important when to comes to commercial office space: location, location, location. For many businesses, that means competing for top floors in a skyscraper downtown or finding the perfectly hip urban loft in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

However, as organizations re-evaluate their business goals and objectives amidst a global pandemic, they’re also reexamining their office locations. Spreading out in a cramped and competitive primary market isn’t easy to do, which is why secondary and tertiary markets, like Pittsburgh, are becoming increasingly more appealing to business owners and investors all over the country.

Smaller markets with strong fundamentals such as population and job growth, emerging technology sectors and high levels of educational attainment could be the perfect safe and profitable haven for your next office. Relocating your office or setting up a satellite location in Pittsburgh enables you to diversify your portfolio while limiting risk, saving money and keeping employees happy.

Here’s what you should look for in those smaller but mighty markets:

Stable economy

COVID-19 has exposed the limitations of our current economy, as well as our ability to adapt. To limit risk, the city your office is located in needs strong market fundamentals that can adapt to fluctuating market conditions.

In Pittsburgh, manufacturing was the backbone of the region’s economy for centuries. Now, Pittsburgh touts a diverse and thriving economy comprised of health care, robotics, life sciences, manufacturing, primary metals and educational services. This multifaceted economy has been a driving factor in keeping the city’s unemployment rate below the national average. And now, with many industries putting a greater emphasis on reshoring, its strong economic foundation could see a reinvigorated purpose.

Alcoa Corporation, PNC Financial Services, Howmet Aerospace, PPG Industries and Dick’s Sporting Goods are just a few of the Fortune 500 companies proud to be headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Primed office market

Secondary and tertiary markets also come with lower barriers to entry. The asking rate per square foot of office space is exponentially lower in these markets—70 percent lower when comparing Pittsburgh to New York City. This enables you to create a low-density workplace with amenities that employees enjoy at a fraction of the cost.

But that doesn't mean these markets skimp on the convenience and excitement you'd see in larger areas. Pittsburgh offers a vibrant live-work-play atmosphere amongst historic homes and cutting-edge businesses. The Strip District neighborhood has become a hotbed for urban living and office development due in part to its tenant line-up, which includes Aurora, Serendipity Labs, Uber and numerous other robotics and AI companies. On the other side of downtown, the Oakland neighborhood draws its fair share of attraction with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as healthcare giants such as UPMC Presbyterian.

First-class talent pool

Many emerging markets boast strong educational infrastructures, which fuels their growing talent pools.

In Pittsburgh, 30 area colleges and universities feed highly-educated and specialized individuals into the labor market year-round, especially in tech. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, the city’s tech talent pool grew by 21.7%.

Also, the increase in long-term remote work options has benefited smaller markets where “brain drain” may have previously been an issue.

Quality of life

The standard of living in secondary and tertiary markets is often higher than anyone expects. However, this is one of the most important features for employees when considering where to live, work and play.

While affordability, job opportunities and security, health and safety are all very important to your employees, consider Pittsburgh for your next office location.

To learn more about the strength and resiliency of Pittsburgh's market, download our Why Pittsburgh?